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2010 Public Announcements

Tropical Storm Matthew, Update #1

September 24, 2010

To: All American Citizens
From: American Citizens Services Unit, Consular Section

The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa informs American citizens residing in or visiting Honduras that U.S. Government employees in the departments of Colon, Atlántida, and Yoro are moving to a central location and have been advised to avoid travel on September 25.

The Honduran Government declared a Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch from the Honduras-Nicaragua border west to Limon, including offshore islands. The Embassy strongly encourages American citizens in Honduras to closely monitor the path of Tropical Storm Matthew, and to make appropriate emergency preparations.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Storm Matthew may produce high winds and large quantities of rain. Tropical Storm Matthew, which currently has maximum sustained winds of 85 km/hr (about 50 mph), is projected to reach the Mosquitia coast of Honduras at about 8pm this evening. The projected path of the storm is along the north coast of Honduras. About 80-100mm (3-4 inches) of rainfall is projected for the north coast, and 40-60mm (1.5-2.5 inches) for central, southern and western parts of the country. As with any high amounts of rainfall, this could produce the possibility of flash floods and mudslides.

The Honduran Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO) has issued a Yellow Alert for the entire country, and is expected to issue a Red Alert this afternoon for the north coast. American citizens are discouraged from travelling to these areas. If U.S. citizens choose to travel to those areas, they are encouraged to take extreme caution. U.S. citizens in the path of Tropical Storm Matthew are encouraged to seek shelter and move to higher ground. U.S. citizens should also make adequate preparations to have sufficient food and clean water.

Flights into and out of airports may be suspended as the storm approaches. Travelers should contact airlines for the latest updates. The storm could similarly affect access to ferries and cruise ships.

Citizens should monitor local and international media reports, and follow the instructions of local emergency officials. In some areas, adequate shelter from a severe hurricane may not be available to all who may choose to stay. Visitors should review and follow their hotel or cruise ship evacuation plans. U.S. citizens who plan to stay in their homes or hotels should make preparations in the event that communications, power, and transportation systems are affected.

U.S. citizens should carry their travel documents at all times (i.e. U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate, picture ID's, etc.) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. We also suggest that American citizens contact friends and family in the United States with updates about their whereabouts.

For the most-up-to-date information on Tropical Storm Matthew, please visit The National Hurricane Center's website at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Further information on hurricanes and hurricane preparedness is available on the State Department's website: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_2915.html

Also visit Consular Affairs' website on "Natural Disasters" at the following link: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1207.html

For information from the Honduran Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO), including the national alerts from the Honduran government, please visit: http://www.copeco.gob.hn/c/

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Honduras are strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website (https://travelregistration.state.gov), and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Honduras. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Honduras and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings and Worldwide Caution at the State Department's website: http://travel.state.gov

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Embassy is located on Avenida La Paz in Tegucigalpa; telephone (504) 238-5114, after hours telephone (504) 236-8497; Consular Section fax (504) 238-4357; E-mail: usahonduras@state.gov; Webpage: http://honduras.usembassy.gov